For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
KENNEDY POINT PARK, TITUSVILLE, FL – Despite hefty ground winds SpaceX launched another batch of Starlink broadband internet satellites on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, March 29, soaring southeastwards from the Space Coast into broken cloudy skies carrying another bundle of older generation Starlink broadband satellites to low Earth orbit.
Large and excited crowds gathered along the Indian River in Titusville for this very conveniently timed weekday afternoon launch under quite windy but mostly clear skies making the launch somewhat iffy in nature as to whether the winds would die down sufficiently
Liftoff of the veteran 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 booster B1077.4 on the Starlink 5-10 mission took place during late afternoon 4:01 p.m. EDT (2001 GMT) Wednesday afternoon, March 29, and delivered 56 more Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Enjoy our launch photos taken by the Space UpClose team of Ken Kremer and Jean Wright
Starlink provides high speed, low latency broadband internet connectivity now on a global basis to all 7 continents.
The first stage booster B1077 supporting this mission previously launched 3 times including four astronauts on NASA Crew-5 to the ISS, as well as GPS III Space Vehicle 06, and Inmarsat I-6 F2.
Following stage separation, the first stage landed on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ (JRTI) droneship, which as stationed some 410 miles (660 kilometers) offshore of Florida and southeast of Cape Canaveral, in the Atlantic Ocean and north of the Bahamas some eight minutes after liftoff.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship pic.twitter.com/BeO1VrgvOe
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 29, 2023
Overall Starlink 5-10 counts as SpaceX’s 21st launch of the new year! From pads in Florida and California.
The flat-paneled, solar powered refrigerator-sized satellites were deployed into an initial elliptical orbit about 200 miles (300 kilometers) above Earth and at an inclination of 43 degrees to the equator.
SpaceX confirmed they were deployed as planned about an hour and four after liftoff:
Deployment of 56 Starlink satellites confirmed
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 29, 2023
The Starlink satellites will use on-board krypton ion propulsion to raise themselves to their final operating circular orbit some 329 miles (530 kilometers) above Earth.
To date SpaceX has launched 4217 Starlink satellites including prototype and test versions and failed ones, according to a tabulation from astronomer Jonathan McDowell, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Currently SpaceX has more than 3914 in orbit, 3,868 functioning Starlink satellites in space, with about 3,304 operational
SpaceX manufactures the Starlinks in-house in Redmond, Washington.
These Starlinks are part of the prior V1.5 version which comprises most of the Starlink orbital constellation.
Each one weighs about 660 pounds or 300 kg
The overall weight of 17.4 metric tons, or over 38,000 pounds, ties the record for the heaviest payload ever launched on a Falcon 9 – per Spaceflight Now
SpaceX has at least temporarily halted launching the Gen2 upgraded version due to problems encountered on orbit with the first two batches
The Gen2 satellites encountered issues after the launch last month, and some of them could be deorbited while others could be salvaged to eventually move into the active Starlink fleet, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on twitter.
SpaceX has FAA approval to deploy 12,000 Starlinks and eventually hopes to deploy well over 30,000.
Jean took some fabulous prelaunch photos with bords swimming in from of the VAB and gulping fish midair!
The next Falcon 9 launch from the Cape is scheduled for Apr 7 at 12:39 a.m. EDT for the Intelsat 40e and NASA Tempo atmospheric science mission.
Watch Ken’s commentary about NASA. Project Artemis SLS and Orion, SpaceX Falcon Heavy, Crew-5 & 6, NASA SpaceX Crew & Cargo Dragons and more
Mar 29/30; WFTV ABC News Orlando interview comments about delayed launch date to NET July 21 for 1st Boeing Starliner capsule crew flight test #CFT launch to ISS for NASA
Mar 22/23: Fox 35 News Orlando post launch interview about historic Terran 1 launch on Mar 22:
Mar 22: Fox 35 live interview about next Terran 1 launch attempt on Mar 22:
Mar 21: WFTV ABC News Orlando interview about next Terran 1 launch attempt on Mar 22
Mar 17: Fox 35 News Orlando update about next Terran 1 launch attempt:
Mar 16/17: WKMG CBS 6 Orlando News interview about Virgin Orbit pausing operations today and why this is not a good sign as they seek to enter the small satellite market with many competitors like Relativity Space Terran1 rocket trying 1st launch – as well as established competitors like SpaceX & RocketLab.
Mar 8/9: WFTV ABC News and Fox 35 New Orlando pre and post scrub interview about maiden Terran 1 launch attempt:
Mar 7: WFTV ABC News Orlando interview about upcoming maiden Terran1 launch by Relativity Space on Mar 8
Mar 6/7: WFTV ABC News Orlando interview about upcoming maiden #Terran1 launch by Relativity Space on Mar 8 from pad 16 CCSFS. Worlds 1st 3D printed rocket:
Mar 2: Fox 35 Orlando live interview about the Crew-6 mission launch to the ISS
Feb 26/27/28: On 3 local Networks CBS WKMG , ABC WFTV and Fox 35 Orlando -I did series of live and taped interviews pre and post scrub explaining why NASA SpaceX Crew6 astronaut launch to ISS was scrubbed at T Minus 2 minutes to keep the crew and rocket safe and what needs to be done to resolve the issue why TEA-TEB (triethylaluminum triethylboron) igniter fluid failed to fully load on Falcon 9 rocket
Feb 9/10: WFTV ABC News Orlando interview about SpaceX Starship successful static fire test of 31 Raptor engines at Boca Chica
Feb 8/9: WFTV ABC News Orlando interview about how NASA needs a definitive and fully funded plan to deorbit the ISS safely in case of an emergency and serious debris hit causing it to lose control b4 it’s terminated in 2030- in light of the recent Soyuz crew capsule leak from micrometeoroid impact
Jan 3/4: WFTV ABC News Orlando interview about Jan 3 SpaceX Transporter 6 launch – 1st of 2023 – and record setting year ahead with many exciting missions for NASA and private astronauts, science probes, mission, US Space Force, new rockets like ULA Vulcan & more!
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Artemis, SpaceX missions, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, SpaceX Axiom, JWST, DART, Lucy Asteroid mission, GOES, SpaceX Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Please consider supporting Ken’s work by purchasing his photos and/or donating at Patreon
Upcoming and recent space events and talks by Ken Kremer & Jean Wright
Apr 15 8 PM: Yuri’s Night . Ken is invited as a Space Ambassador for the event held at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Apr 6, 14; Mar 1, 2, 12,13, 22, 23; Feb 4, 11, 24, 25, 26; Jan 7,11- 2023; from 7 to 9 PM Quality Inn, Titusville, FL: Join Ken and Jean for Artemis 1, Falcon Heavy and space mission and rocket launch outreach. Ask us anything. plus display our photos and space apparel items for sale
Apr 29-May 6 & Jan 21-28: Carnival Cruise Ship Mardi Gras: “What Happening at NASA and Space Exploration” & SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink 5-2 launch viewing party Jan 26
Jan 12, 2023: 10 AM at Westminster Retirement Center in Orlando/Winter Park, Florida: Presentation by Jean Wright – “Sew Sister to the Stars- How the Humble Art of Sewing Transformed the World of Flight”+ Artemis 1 Moon rocket update
Nov 29 at UCF, Orlando Florida: Presentation by Jean Wright – “Sew Sister to the Stars- How the Humble Art of Sewing Transformed the World of Flight”